Solar Power Facts

1.  What is a solar turbine?

A solar turbine is a device that uses the sun’s energy to create electricity.

2.  Active Solar Power

Is a solar power system that uses an outside force, to power a solar power system.  A common active solar power system is a solar power water heater that uses an electric water pump to power the system.

3.  Passive Solar Energy

Is a solar power system that does not need an outside source of energy besides the sun to operate.  Passive solar power systems are used often in the blueprints of home building for designing strategically placed walls and windows to take advantage of the sun’s heat.

4.  Photovoltaic Solar Panels

Photovoltaic solar panels use a combination of silicon doped impurities to push electrons towards an electric current after a solar panel absorbs a photon of light from the sun.

5.  Concentrated Solar Power

Is a technique that uses a system of mirrors to reflect the heat from sunlight towards a single focal point. This point of intense heat can then be used to heat water into steam, which can be converted into electricity using a steam turbine generator.

6.  Space Based Solar Power

Is when the sun’s energy is converted into electricity from outer space, to either be used in outer space or back on earth.

7.  Solar Water Heater

Solar water heater’s are a popular item to find in homes today.  These systems can use either concentrated solar power or photovoltaic panels to heat water.

8.  Solar Panel Tilt

Solar panels have an optimum tilt angle that changes with the changing seasons.  As the season’s change the path of the sun through the sky will change, getting increasingly drastic towards the poles.

9.  Solar South

Solar panel systems in the Northern Hemisphere should face solar south to operate more efficiently.

10.  Solar Panel Mounting

There are three main techniques for solar panel mounting: tracking mounts, ground mounts, and roof mounts.

11.  History of Solar Energy

Ancient solar energy history mostly involves using a reflective surface to harness the sun’s heat in order to start a fire.  The photovoltaic effect was not invented until the 1800s.

12.  Environmental Impact of Solar Energy

Photovoltaic solar panels and concentrated solar panels systems release no pollutants into the atmosphere during the conversion process.  Unfortunately solar panel manufacturing causes large amounts of pollution.

13.  Advantages of Solar Power Systems

The single greatest advantage of solar power is that the sun is an extremely powerful source of renewable energy.

14.  Cost of Solar Power

The cost of solar power depends on the size and scale of the system, but the initial cost of installing a solar power system for a home or business in very high.  The return of investment of installing a solar power system comes with time.

15.  Solar Power Tax Credits

The federal government offers up to a 30% tax rebate on qualifying solar power systems.